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Rangers head back home to battle the Lightning; Kreider doubtful

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-lightning-5-22

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After a brief stop in Carolina that resulted in a 3-2 loss, the Rangers (5-3-0) look to get back to their winning ways when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (5-3-0) at Madison Square Garden.

In that loss to Carolina, Mats Zuccarello scored both Rangers goals, giving him four this season. Pavel Buchnevich recorded an assist in his first game back from back spasms, and Ryan McDonagh also tallied an assist, on a marvelous stretch pass, to extend his six game point streak. Mika Zibanajad’s assist kept him at a point-per-game pace through eight games (2-6-8).

The Lightning played last night in Newark, falling to the Devils by a score of 3-1. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed three goals on 20 shots and the team’s lone goal came from Tyler Johnson. Tampa Bay has had trouble with starting slow, and that happened again when they gave up two goals in the first period to New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers have “significant” interest in Drouin; Gorton reportedly interested in Atkinson

Bobby Bevilacqua

drouin and atkinson

Photos courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Four days ago, I wrote a speculative article about how the Rangers should go out and acquire the recently ousted Jonathan Drouin, who made his trade request public this week.

The day after that article went up on the site, the NY Post published an article that stated that the Rangers “are in big time” on Drouin, according to sources close to the paper and Larry Brooks.

Blueshirts’ GM Jeff Gorton first contacted Lightning GM Steve Yzerman when the Rangers were in Tampa Bay for last Wednesday’s 5-2 Rangers win. That conversation came before the trade request went public. Read the rest of this entry

End the Emerson Etem experiment, and go trade for Jonathan Drouin

Bobby Bevilacqua

Etem and Drouin

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In the offseason, the Rangers made a trade with the Anaheim Ducks in order to help manage against the salary cap. Fan favorite Carl Hagelin had his RFA rights traded to the Ducks, and Gorton got young prospect Emerson Etem’s rights.

Emerson Etem had been buried in Anaheim’s system for a while, and when he did play on the NHL team, he was usually relegated to the fourth line. A trade to the Rangers presented an opportunity for him to finally get his opportunity to breakout and cement his spot on an NHL roster.

But a horrible training camp and preseason set the tone for the season, and Etem has not impressed the team or management throughout the season. In 19 games this season, Etem has tallied just three assists and a minus four rating. Read the rest of this entry